Billerud make a difference by supporting ActionAid in order to fight poverty and injustice. For example every person's right to education. This year, Billerud has donated 621 coats and school books through ActionAid. This means that many more can learn things and thus have more opportunities in life.
But one might wonder what winter coats have to do with education? In Vietnam's north mountainous part for example it gets very cold during the winter time and many families cannot afford to buy warm coats. Often this will stop the kids from attending school since they are afraid of being frozen on the often long road to school and maybe get sick.
Ngueyen Thi Anh, age 8, from Da Bac district in northern Vietnam has received a winter jacket by ActionAid and Billerud. She says;
"The only thing I had for the winter was a shirt and a sweater. My parents knew that this was not enough to keep me warm, but they could not afford to buy me a jacket. The only solution in the winter was that I had to stay home from school."
According to the UN Declaration of Human Rights education is a fundamental right. Yet it's still 80 million children who do not go to any elementary school at all and 60 percent of them are girls.
Haiti, one of the world's poorest countries and also hard hit by flooding during the hurricane season in recent years, is an example of a country where education is very poor. In Lascahobas, a village on the eastern Haiti, not far from the Dominican Republic, it is as little as 37 percent of children who attend school. Of the girls only 10 percent. Most of the schools are private and have high fees so that many families cannot afford to let their children get an education. Other sacrifices a large proportion of their income on their children's education but may get little in return. The schools are dilapidated; the staff in the absence of education, classes too big and the official language for education is French - despite the fact that most of the population speaks Haitian Creole.
Unfortunately, the most vulnerable children without education have no other future than to beg. That's why ActionAid put a lot off effort in turning the negative statistics into positive and runs a special training on just Haiti. Through a brand new school that is planned, 300 children from the village Laschobas will have the opportunity to education. The school will be provided with educational materials, furniture and blackboards and will also serve as shelters in case of flooding and other natural disasters.
With The Millennium Development Goals the world leaders promised that as many girls as boys should start school in 2005. Many governments promised that the world's children by 2015 would have the ability to undergo a complete primary education. As it stands now, they will miss the targets by 15-20 years. More help is therefore needed in order to get training and education to become self-evident to all.
Therefore, at Billerud we continue to support ActionAid. Your contribution makes a difference!